By Lisa Friedman

A federal report released on Tuesday found the Trump administration set a rock-bottom price on the damages done by greenhouse gas emissions, enabling the government to justify the costs of repealing or weakening dozens of climate change regulations.

The report by the Government Accountability Office, Congress’s nonpartisan investigative arm, said the Trump administration estimated the harm that global warming will cause future generations to be seven times lower than previous federal estimates. Reducing that metric, known as the “social cost of carbon,” has helped the administration massage cost-benefit analyses, particularly for rules that allow power plants and automobiles to emit more planet-warming carbon dioxide.

Critics described the Trump administration’s move as turning a deliberate blind eye to the dangers of climate change. Some critics likened it to President Trump downplaying the risks of the coronavirus, hoping it would “go away” but instead leaving the country unprepared for the pandemic.

Michael Greenstone, an economist at the University of Chicago, said the Trump administration’s calculations were not done in good faith.

“It was entirely a political act. I don’t think anyone pretended that those moves were justified,” he said.

Continue Reading at The New York Times…

Areas of Focus: Energy Markets
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Energy Markets
Well-functioning markets are essential for providing access to reliable, affordable energy. EPIC research is uncovering the policies, prices and information needed to help energy markets work efficiently.
Fossil Fuels
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Fossil Fuels
Under current policies, fossil fuels will play an important role in the energy system for the foreseeable future. EPIC research is exploring the costs and benefits of these fuels as...
Climate Change
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Climate Change
Climate change is an urgent global challenge. EPIC research is helping to assess its impacts, quantify its costs, and identify an efficient set of policies to reduce emissions and adapt...
Climate Law & Policy
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Climate Law & Policy
As countries around the world implement policies to confront climate change, EPIC research is calculating which policies will have the most impact for the least cost.
Social Cost of Carbon
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Social Cost of Carbon
The social cost of carbon is an essential tool for incorporating the cost of climate change into policy-making, corporate planning and investment decisionmaking in the United States and around the...